Posted by: Edward | January 20, 2023

Escaping our Stories

Often we mistake our ideas about ourselves for our self.

Photo by Marc Clinton Labiano

Thoughts and feelings tend to go together. When you are thinking a particular way you tend to feel in a manner congruent to that. When you are feeling a particular way you tend to think in a manner congruent to that.

The brain is an association machine, when it has part of a pattern, it wants the rest of the pattern.

If we’re really hooked into a particular thought and feeling combo, we can forget that at other times we think and feel in different ways. But we are not whatever thought and feeling pattern we are currently experiencing. We are what experiences those changing patterns.

We are not the weather, we are the sky.

Some of the hardest thoughts to unhook from are the ones we have about ourselves. It is easy to mistake the stories we tell ourselves about who we are for who we are. Especially when we’ve been telling ourselves that story for years.

We can have all sorts of thoughts about ourselves. Thoughts like, “nothing I do ever works out” or “no one likes me” or “I’m just a loser.”

And in the moment, it can feel like these are true and meaningful. But they are *just* thoughts, produced largely out of habit. Often these harsh and negative thoughts pop up in order to protect us from taking emotional risks or from feeling vulnerable.

Even if these thoughts feel true, because we have lots of past history to point out as evidence for them, they are just thoughts. They do not know the future and they’re not taking into account that we can grow and change and become more than we were.

We are capable of recognizing that these thoughts are just thoughts, not commandments, and to choose to act not the way we have but the way we want to. To embody our values moment to moment.

As we realize that our thoughts about our self is not that Self but just a story, we are free to write a new story, based on what truly matters to us.


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